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[22] commissioned officers, to display the highest qualities as soldiers, demonstrating, at the same time, the great advantage to armies, however engaged in the field, of possessing troops well grounded in the peculiar exercises of engineer soldiers.

On the 7th of August the American army, numbering not quite eleven thousand men, began their march from Puebla, starting upon an enterprise which would have been pronounced extremely rash had it not been crowned with success, but which, having been successful, ranks among the most daring and brilliant in the annals of war. A mere handful of men, volunteers and regulars, undertook to capture a city of nearly two hundred thousand inhabitants, strong in its natural defences, and protected by numerous works, constructed by able engineers, in conformity with the most approved rules of military science. Around it was distributed an army of thirty-five thousand men, composed of regular troops and volunteers, and comprising artillery, cavalry, and infantry. These were by no means despicable soldiers, and they often fought with a courage which extorted the respect of their enemies. Their artillery in particular was well served and effective, as our troops often learned to their cost. The weak points in the Mexican army were the want of courage and want of capacity in its officers, just as the weak point in the civil history of that unhappy country has been the want of rulers who were at once honest and able. Had the Mexican officers been men and soldiers like our own, history might have

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